Gospel LK 24:13-35
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
|Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus enlightens the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Have you ever tried to solve a puzzle and then were surprised when the various pieces suddenly fell into place? Well, this is what happens to these disciples as Jesus begins to speak: “How slow you are to believe all that the prophets have announced! Did not the Messiah have to undergo all this so as to enter into his glory?” The whole of Christianity is hanging here in the balance.
The disciples didn’t get it at first. They didn’t get the secret, the mystery, the key, the pattern. And what was that? God’s self-emptying love, even unto death. God’s act of taking upon himself the sins of the world in order to take them away, the mystery of redemption through suffering.
Jesus explains this first, with reference to the prophets; but then, he makes it as vividly present to them as he can: “He took the bread, pronounced the blessing, then broke the bread and began to distribute it to them.” And that’s when the piece fell into place—that’s when the puzzle was solved. The Eucharist made present this love unto death, this love that is more powerful than sin and death. The Eucharist is the key.